Date:Monday November 5 2007
It's 'derby day' again as Crewe take on Port Vale with both teams looking to pull away from the bottom four, whilst Vale welcome a new man at the helm.
The derby between Crewe and Vale has slowly got bigger in recent years, with Stoke either above or below both teams for the majority of the past 10-15 years, both Crewe and Vale fans have made do with each other.
Tomorrow will be no exception, although for Vale fans it'll probably take second billing to the welcoming for their new manager Lee Sinnott. It took five weeks for Vale to appoint Sinnott, so maybe timing was a little coincidental with the Vale Directors knowing a win against us on the managers first day would sweeten Vale fans up.
The former Bradford defender will have only been in charge for 36 hours when he leads Vale out on Tuesday night, but you can never underestimate the impact of a new manager.
Having won three promotions in four years with his former club Farseley Celtic, Sinnott will have the players if not the fans buzzing. Chairman Bill Bratt described Sinnott as one of the best young managers in the game, so with Steve Holland five years younger than his counter part we can expect a good 'modern approach' to the game.
As for Vale pre-Sinnott in 2007, things haven't been that exciting. Currently 23rd in the league, things haven't looked good since day one. One win and four defeats in their last five games, their season was summed up live on Radio Stoke by assistant caretaker boss Mark Grew.
Having seen his side fall to a 3-1 defeat at Orient, Grew said:
'I've just told the players they are gutless. Spineless. They are the worst bunch of players I have seen at Vale Park in 17 years. I'm not trying to kid any fans - they are gutless.'
The only shining light of their season is possibly former Alex striker Luke Rodgers. Rodgers has hit 8 goals for Vale this season, making it 10 goals in 16 starts for the Brummie forward. It has led to criticism from Alex fans for letting him go, despite the fact Rodgers wanted to leave and we had Varney and Maynard free scoring at the time.
After scoring in the 3-0 defeat in April, there's definite hunger from Rodgers to do well against us.
Being Vale's only goal outlet it's vital he is kept quiet.
Defensive problems get worse for Steve Holland. With O'Donnell and Baudet already out, George Abbey has now also been ruled out of the game. It means right back Danny Woodards will play at centre back after a fantastic performance there on Saturday, whilst loanee winger Elliott Bennett will be used as a make shift right back.
Neil Cox has declared himself fit for the game after bruising his arm against Yeovil.
Other than that, we should see an unchanged side.
Possible: Ben Williams, Elliott Bennett, Chris McCready, Danny Woodards, Billy Jones, Neil Cox, Ben Rix, Gary Roberts, Byron Moore, Ryan Lowe, Simon Church.
After helping keep a clean sheet whilst playing out of position on Saturday, Woody will now be looked up on for a similar performance if we're to get anything from this game.
Vale thrashed us 3-0, with Luke Rodgers scoring. A game to forget shall we say.
Richard Beeby will take charge for the Vale game. Last season he refereed three Alex games; the 4-0 defeat at Bradford, the 0-1 defeat at home to Bristol City and the game where he set up one of Luke Varney's three - the 2-4 win at Chesterfield. Referee: R J BEEBY Assistants: P N Gibbs and S Ledger Fourth Official: S J Rushton
Vale 0-3 Crewe
Date:Monday November 5 2007
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